Iowa season finale race report

Wallace Holds Off Kinser To Win At Iowa NEWTON IA (10-15-06)--Steve Wallace recovered from an early race close call and withstood late race pressure from Kraig Kinser to win the inaugural Prairie Meadows 250 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Iowa ...

Wallace Holds Off Kinser To Win At Iowa

NEWTON IA (10-15-06)--Steve Wallace recovered from an early race close call and withstood late race pressure from Kraig Kinser to win the inaugural Prairie Meadows 250 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Iowa Speedway Sunday afternoon.

"They went from five to go. to four to go and [Kinser] kept getting closer and closer," Wallace said of the closing laps. "I was expecting to get the old bump and run but he didn't do that. Overall it was a pretty good day for us."

In all, the 19-year-old driver led 177 of 250 laps in his No. 61 Hantz Group-TransAmerica Idex Mutual Funds Dodge en route to his third victory of 2006 and fourth overall. Bloomington, Indiana's Kinser, making his first ARCA RE/MAX Series appearance since 2005, crossed the checkers .208 seconds behind to settle for second.

"The track felt great," said Kinser. "I thought the race speed would slow down but I was running laps faster than my qualifying time. Steven was good all day so I knew he would be tough to beat."

Wallace, whose father Rusty designed the newly designed 7/8-mile speedway, escaped a very close call during the opening laps of the race when he was battling for position with Juan Pablo Montoya. Wallace took the high line and made contact with Montoya, who glided up the track from the low groove in the No. 4 Texaco-Havoline Dodge, causing the two to make contact. Montoya went for a spin but was able to return to the track to post a 24th place finish, 42 laps down.

"I had a run on the outside of him," said Wallace. "You know the rule is if your fenders are past the quarter panels it's your line. But I would say it was probably 50/50...Half his fault, half mine."

The race was slowed by nine cautions for 69 laps and took two hours, 24 minutes and 25 seconds to complete. Six drivers exchanged the lead nine times, including Wallace, Montoya, Ryan Foster, Mario Gosselin, Kinser and Brian Keselowski.

Rocklin, California's Justin Marks finished a career best third in the No. 65 Construct Corps Dodge. Michael McDowell and Ryan Foster rounded out the top-five.

"Early on I had to set a fast pace because I didn't want to go a lap down," said Marks. "The field was going really fast. But then, once we settled into a pace the car came to us. This is the first season I've ever oval raced. I'm a road course racer and this was only my 10th race in a stock car. Every one at Construct Corps has been so good to work with and I'm glad they took a chance on me. We're coming back next year to run for a championship."

Frank Kimmel brought his No. 46 Pork The Other White Meat Ford into the garage area on lap 122 with motor problems, relegating him to a 32nd place finish. On Saturday, the veteran driver clinched the 2006 national points championship, marking his seventh consecutive championship and eighth overall.

"It wasn't the day that we wanted," said Kimmel. "It actually started out pretty good, but we had a little too much tape on the grill, it overheated and kind of upset the motor. Since we had already clinched the championship, we decided to pull in, so that we could save a $60,000 or $70,000 motor. I'm just really happy to be able to clinch another championship."

Tony Heavrin, crew chief of the No. 47 Frank Kimmel Ford driven by Ryan Foster, earned SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race honors. Bill Kimmel clinched the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Year award, marking the seventh time that he has earned the honor.

In addition to the win, Wallace earned the Pork Pole award on Saturday, allowing him to clinch the ARCA RE/MAX Series Pork Pole Award title for 2006 for earning the most poles for the season. Wallace and rookie Brad Coleman each had three Pork Pole awards leading into the event at Iowa. In all, the series saw 15 different Pork Pole Award winners in 23 races, tying a record set in 1991.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series will close out its season on December 9th in Covington, Kentucky for the National Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

-credit: www.arcaracing.com

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Series ARCA
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya